We tested the predatory capacity of newly-hatched or newly-molted Chrysoperla comanche (Banks) and Chrysoperla externa (Hagen) larvae after a 24 h fasting period on adults of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) that were feeding on tomato plants (at vegetative and blooming stage) under glasshouse conditions. We also recorded fruit damage by the thrips. Both Chysoperla spp. depredated a similar number of F. occidentalis (thrips) adults regardless of the phenological stage of the plant. Second and third instar larvae of both species consumed significantly more thrips than first instar during plant blooming, however when the plant was at vegetative stage, all larval stages of both species predated a similar number of thrips. A significantly lower fruit damage percentage was recorded at the blooming plant when C. comanche larvae were in the experimental cage, however the presence of second and third instar of both species significantly reduced the fruit damage. No foliar damage was recorded. As far as we know, this is the first assessment of the predatory capacity of C. comanche and C. externa on thrips feeding on tomato under glasshouse conditions.
- Biological control agent
- Larvae instars